Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Vagueness in Descriptions of Evil
Often in Tolkien's work, some of the most frightening moments or characters are described only vaguely. The Ringwraiths, for example, are masked in black cloaks, but they are mostly a black void, the same can be basically true of Balrogs and other horrors. Sauron and Melkor, though they once had fair appearance, those seem to fade as quickly as they are mentioned. Even orcs are seen primarily as fragemented pieces of bodies (arms, necks, legs, etc.) Why did Tolkien make these descriptions as unspecific as he did? What impression do such vague desicriptions leave on the reader? Why or why not?